Run For Good 5k 2011

The Run for good 5k on Saturday was a lesson in discipline. These last few weeks have had me slacked off and scared to achieving success through exercise. On Friday  the day before the race I went to happy hour.

And got drunk.

The next morning I did not awake bright eyed and bushy tailed. There was nothing I could bribe myself out of bed with, just the knowledge I had spent 17 dollars I didn’t really have to attend a race i didn’t really want to go to. Before the last minute arrived, I called a cab and made my way to the start line.

I did not research the course. If I had, I probably would not have gone. It was 2 laps of 1.5 miles around downtown. I used all my energy (mind you, I was already running on empty) for the first lap. When I realized I had to make a second lap I wondered if I should just stop and go home instead.

I didn’t. I kept pluggin’ along. I tried making a game out of the songs that played. I would walk one song, run one song. It varied a bit, but I think its safe to say I jogged at least half of the race. The sun was out, and bearing down on my face, and every step felt like lifting dead weights, not to mention I was starving… and hungover. Finally the finish line appeared and I sucked up every last ounce of muster I had and ran through it.

47:57. I’m getting better all the time.

They had a pretty sweet (if small) expo after and I snagged as much fruit as I could hold in my hands, and promptly devoured it. A lady walked up to me and offered me congratulations and said something I never thought anyone would say: “I tried so hard to keep up with you, but I just couldn’t, there at the end. Good job!”

Run for Good, indeed.

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Run For Good 5k

website

 The last race I completed was the Alaska Run for Women Five Miler… I think. Either way, I wasn’t really planning on doing one the month of July… that is until I saw Groupon offering half off registration costs. The only thing that really bothers me about this is: I really want to register online but it won’t accept either of the numbers issued on the Groupon Coupon (ha! it rhymes… I wonder if they did that on purpose) and it makes me nervous to do same day race registration. But that’s what the Groupon Coupon tells me to do, so that’s what I’ll do. I guess.

I figure doing this 5k will be a good thing to see where I’m at, if I’ve improved any, or if I need to start working out harder. I’ve been kind of slacking the last two weeks, not going to lie. I’ve made some serious improvements in my ability to run outside… I just don’t do it enough. Whats enough, anyway? Maybe I’m just psyching myself out.

*The Groupon Link is a referral code for me. I apparently receives monies if people buy through that link. I can’t imagine a world where that happens.

How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.

Whittier Tunnel Walk 2011

Entrance to the the tunnel

On Sunday, Fathers day, The March of Dimes hosted a walk through the Whittier tunnel. A fun fact about this tunnel, its the longest combined train/automotive tunnel in North America at 2.5 miles. Whittier started out as a Military outpost during World War II, but to get supplies there they had to drill through the tunnel. In an effort to save time, they started drilling at either side of the mountain, and met in the middle. Turns out they were off, but only by about an inch.

       
Me and my Friend Rachel

When we reached the visitor’s center, it looked as though they were wrapping up. I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening- where were all the people?! Suddenly a women hollered, “All walker’s on the bus! The bus is leaving now!”

Turns out the walk didn’t start at the visitor’s center, it started about two miles further down the road, at the actual tunnel. Who knew?

Me in my required hard hat.

It was so neat inside. The tunnel was lit at the top, and all sides were covered by netting, and it was kinda wet inside.  (Thats what she said.)

The light at the end of the tunnel

 The further we got in, the more stale the air became. At two points, volunteers were handing out water bottles. I grabbed one, even though I had brought my own. I always bring my own.

Upon exiting the tunnel, to the left.

 When we reached the end, we weren’t really sure what was going to happen next. Did we have to walk back to the otherside? Where were all the finishers ahead of us? Why did it have to be so dreary?

Turns out, they loaded us into the buses once more, and took us into town. Rachel and I grabbed some halibut and chips, and a beer. The thing is about this, the walk was technically free. There was no registration fee. If I had known all that went into organizing this event, I would have actually tried to donate. Next year, I definitely plan to.

beers

We sat at a table for 6 people, and so two others joined us. One was a retired designer, the other a school administrator. We had a fantastic conversation about life and where we came from, death, and of course, bear attacks. 

Me at Portage Lake.

God, I love Alaska.

June Goals and May Round Up

Mt. Susitna, 2011

So, to recap the spectacle that was the month of May:

I got a new roommate and almost immediately, drama ensued. I had all sorts of plans for Mother’s Day, which were intercepted by my friend, but made for a significantly more enjoyable weekend. After spending literally months convincing myself I didn’t want to attend one of my best friend’s wedding, I finally made the decision, and to be honest, it was such a beautiful event. I’m so glad I went. While I was in Ohio, the Blogger Apocalypse happened and my Anniversary post kind of got passed over. I lost 30 lbs in a year, eating whatever I wanted. Ideally, I would have lost more, but the important thing to remember is, after actively gaining weight for nearly 10 years, I have finally made a huge commitment with evidential proof that my health is precious and I’m finally putting it up as a priority. I wrapped the month up with a nice long walk; 9.5 miles to be exact.

AKRFW, 2010

This month, I’ve got two races lined up, the Skinny Raven Twilight 12k which is THIS friday, right after work. The Alaska Run for Women is the next Saturday. I might end up banditing that one… I keep trying to register, and they keep not registering me. Its very frustrating. On three seperate occasions, they have not charged me a single time, and well… fine, AKRFW. Don’t take my money. I will still go. I will always go as long as I’m in this state.

As for the rest of the month, my goals are centered around progressing with c25k. I think I kinda chickened out. It doesn’t seem right that I should be running at any pace at the weight I’m currently at. I lost my balls, and now I gotta get them back.  I also need to do a better job of tracking my food. I think for this week I’m going to take pictures of all my meals. Starting Wednesday, and going through til the 11th because the holiday has totally screwed me up. Oops.

Hope everyone’s June is as awesome as they hope it to be!

Current weight: 290.1

Stair Climbing and Burning Out

This morning instead of going to the gym, I climbed the Stairs of Doom five times. They’re relatively close to my home, so it was just a short walk to get there. I used my heart rate monitor, which I’m pretty much in love with. I was only active for about 20 minutes, and burned just over 200 calories.

I didn’t think to bring my camera because I was running a little behind this morning. All this sun is making it difficult to get quality sleep! I forget to go to bed because its still light at midnight… I wake up at three am to pee, and the sun is coming over the mountains! I’ve lived here for 5 years, you’d think I’d be used to this by now.

 After I came home, a little disappointed in my calorie burn, despite being covered in sweat, I decided to turn on a little music and dance for another 15 minutes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the next couple of months, and I’m starting to feel burnt out. If I want to see more results, I have to work for it much harder than I have been. Working harder also burns me out. Having my schedule changed burns me out.  Asking more of myself burns me out. 
I think the part that I keep forgetting is, The more I ask of myself, the more I’m able to accomplish. Perhaps I won’t reach that “goal” but I’ll be so much closer to it than if I hadn’t started at all.
Even though I have all these walks planned, I almost don’t even care at this point.Okay, even writing that doesn’t feel true. I guess I still just want to be at the finish line, and skip all the hard stuff- you know, the stuff that matters. The stuff that shows you who you are, the stuff the creates memories. 
As Miley Cyrus sings, 


Ain’t about how fast you get there

Ain’t about whats waiting on the other side

Its the climb
Yup. Totally just quoted a Miley Cyrus song.
Speaking of things leading me closer to my goals, I was invited to go on a hike this Friday immediately after work on the Bird Ridge Trail, near Girdwood, Alaska. It is listed as a moderate to difficult 2.5 miles one day with a 3500 elevation gain. My head is kind of spinning just thinking about it. Several other people will be going, including two of my documentary programmers for the AIFF this year (whom I recruited myself) so in theory it should be fun. But I don’t want to be that person that holds every one back. I don’t want people waiting on me, cause it makes me feel lame.
The view from the top of Bird Ridge (source)

I really really really don’t think I’m ready for such a hike. But if I never go, I’ll never know, right? Maybe I should go climb some more stairs…

How do you keep from burning out?

Weekend and April Round Up

This has been a very crazy weekend, international news wise. It started with Prince William and Catherine Middletons Royal Wedding, and ended with Osama bin Laden’s death. I stayed up until 5amon friday (having to go to work at 8:30am) to watch the new couple have their first “official” kiss as husband and wife. The Duchess of Cambridge (as she is now known) looked positively glowing, and just as a princess should. I thought her dress was very simple, but stunning, and her sister was just down right hot. The Duke of Cambridge (as Prince William is now known) totally rocked the military uniform. Formal military uniforms are always hot, and Prince Harry was looking pretty sexy too.

I first heard about the bin Laden thing on twitter. One of my cousins retweeted something about a mission accomplished sign being brought out again, and my brow furrowed. “What the heck is happening, world?” I asked myself. I found out quickly enough, and may I say, I am so glad that Obama was the one to give the speech that bin Laden had been killed. I feel like it somehow validates his presidency a little bit further. It also clarifies why he laid to rest the birth certificate issue, which was dumb and a waste of time. I hope those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks and other attacks brought on by Al-Qaeda will find a bit more peace. Surely this will only make for some more unrest, but for now, we can breathe a sigh of ease.

On to less depressing topics, shall we?

Taken yesterday during my walk

This April, I accomplished quite a bit.

  • I finally started to focus on my breathing, which has helped tremendously in continuing the c25k training. I’m on week 4 so far. I can’t wait to continue it tomorrow!
  • I redecorated my blog, made it a little easier to look at, and designed a new header. Also, declared my official exit from the 300’s and entry back into the 290’s. Quite proud indeed!
  • And I completed my second and third walks of the season, a happy 4 mile MS Walk, and this past weekend’s Heart Run.

Things that have happened but didn’t make it to my blog, I registered for 3 more races!

I’m really excited about all these races, but the Portland Rock and Roll Half has got to be the one I’m most excited for.  Just a couple of weeks ago my mom and I were talking about how the only thing our family does during get-togethers is sit around, eat and gossip. And while its fun to catch up on things, it is also not encouraging of healthy behaviors and lifestyles, especially since we all seem to be on a kick start of them recently.

After talking with my absolutely beautiful, wonderful, and most favoritest cousin, Mama T, she decided we would run a half marathon together, and she chose the one in Portland since that is where we grew up. In the week or so since that decision, two of her friends, and several of our other cousins have signed up to run with us. All of a sudden we are having a family reunion based around a half marathon, a first and most epic event in our family history. I am super excited to see her again, and the rest of my family and to sit around, gossip, eat, and run.

Heart Run 2011

 What can I say about the Heart Run of 2011? It was a cold blustery day, that was only made colder by activity followed by inactivity. I had hoped my new roommate and one of my friends would join me, but they bailed at the last second, so I was on my own, yet again. Of course, that didn’t stop me from participating. I got there about an hour early, and while it was chilly out, I didn’t feel like it was too cold. The clouds were shrouding the sky everywhere except for over the mountains, which made the morning look pretty dramatic, indeed.

The Heart Run this year had a nice tribute going on for me. About three years ago, my father had a heart attack alone in his apartment, and died. It was not the first one he had, but it certainly was the last. While it took some time to motivate me into a healthier life style, I am finally starting to get there, so it was nice to be surrounded by those who had experienced heart disease and lived through it, or share in the memory of those who did not survive it, and still, fitness and running aficionados who just love to move and sweat for the sake of it.

I guess there were about 6000 registrants this year, making the Heart Run one of the biggest in the state. I started out with the timed running group, even though I planned walking most of it. I jogged for about the first 2 minutes, mostly because there were people lining the barriers cheering us on, and well, I wanted to feel special. However, as it has been for all of my other races, the shin splints got me pretty quick, and took the rest of the first mile to work out.

The Run started in the very back parking lot of the UAA campus, went down to the main road, took a detour, wrapped around APU’s campus and went back to the parking lot, making a very odd shaped T. Even though I was experiencing some shin splints during the first mile, there was this group of people walking ahead of me, and I decided I wanted to catch up to them. So I jogged. I picked light posts to start and stop at, and completed the first mile at 17:50.

I was really excited just after we passed the mile 2 marker at 33:22 because just beyond it were a group of native drummers. I love drums for the atmosphere they create, for some reason they just lift my heart. I wish I had actually stopped to get a better picture of them, but alas, I was in my zone, and pictures are a distraction.

As we wrapped behind the APU dorms, and started heading downhill again, I decided I was going to jog all the way down it. So I did. I stopped momentarily to take this picture:

Isn’t he totes cute? He was giving out high fives to all the passersby.

Now, I know I shouldn’t get all uppity about my time, and that finishing is the greatest part of participating because it means I’m capable, and while my friends and strangers were home nursing hangovers, I was being awesome and healthy. But. The first woman to finish the race did so in 16:58. That is less time than it took me to finish one mile, and she did just over 3. I’m so jealous. Anyway. I’m nearly over it.

Afterward, I stuck around to see who would win the drawing of Alaska Airline tickets, and got a slice of cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest. It was so cold, I thought I would cry. I should have gone around the track again, so I could stay warm! I caught the bus in the nick of time, did some light grocery shopping, went home, talked with my roommate a little bit, and then slept for 16 hours. It was great, but I’m thinking I need to work on my stamina a little bit more. After all, it was only 3.1 miles.